With banks shifting to digital means, can a new customer experience be created?

Neeraj SinhaUpdated: Friday, March 11, 2022, 01:49 PM IST
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Banks are undergoing a radical change in every aspect. Shifting to digital, branches are becoming a liability. |

Indian banking has undergone a radical change, especially branch banking. With the shift to digital means, how can you offer luxury experiences to your customers? No one enjoys entering a room full of dull walls, tech-engrossed humans, and no conversation. You cannot sell luxury. You can only offer it as an experience. Banks realised that this shift to a more empathy-centric connection was the trend they needed to hop onto. It’s time you give your customers something extraordinary. An experience that goes beyond banking.

Banks are undergoing a radical change in every aspect. Shifting to digital, branches are becoming a liability. How can you change this into an asset? Customer experiences are the answer. They’re setting up artistic walls in their branches or remodeling their additional office space into cozy cafes. Sit with a cup of coffee and engage in insightful conversations. Who knows, you may crack the next best deal or discover a business proposition!

You know a trend is a hit when you spot it, fall prey to it, and the rest is just history. Travelling abroad is quite a luxury for the population at large. People crave experiences they can only see in pictures, Instagram stories, and online. Almost like living the experience through photographs.

Defining customer experience

It’s the bridge between your customer and you. It’s the small interaction they have with you, even if it doesn’t materialise. Customer experiences have changed work dynamics. It’s because they have an emotional component. Simply put, they’re relationships built with time, nurtured by the journey, based on expectations, and validated by recurrent interactions.

One such experience which created quite the buzz was The Dubai City. Dubai and experience? Allow me to explain. It’s an emotion backed by a luxury experience. It’s re-shaped the way customers view experiences. Imagine walking into paradise, shopping for the next best thing, eating delicious food from across the globe, walking past picturesque walls, smelling the coffee roast, dancing with dolphins, sharing views and opinions; a true luxury. Experience snow, rent your own Ferrari- can luxury be any better? What was once an empty desert has transformed itself into a customer-experience paradise.

How can you turn a trend to your advantage just like the city, Dubai did?

Have you ever heard of a bank offering signature dining experiences, or a luxurious golf tour, or bringing out the racing fanatic in you by driving on the F1 circuit? You may wonder how this relates to banking. It does. Banks want to go the extra mile today for you. The new normal has changed the lens through which they view the world. Show empathy, offer an experience that taps into the human sentiment. The trend will matter to you; when you see how customers view your experiences.

(Neeraj Sinha is Head - Consumer & Retail Banking at SBM Bank (India). Views are personal)

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